Writing Skills – Types of Sentences

Writing Skills – Types of Sentences.

Sentences are classified as one of four main types:
•    simple
•    compound
•    complex
•    compound-complex

Most effective composition makes use of varying sentence structure, as this keeps readers engaged with the text rather than lulling them with repetition (unless of course, that’s your goal—think of Dick, Jane and Spot). By definition, a sentence must contain at least one independent clause, but there may certainly be more to it. We’ll start with the least complicated form and work our way up.

A simple sentence contains one—and only one—independent clause, composed—as it must be—of a subject and a predicate (remember that the predicate can contain a verb alone, or a verb in combination with some other part of speech such as a direct object, indirect object or subject complement). A simple sentence may also contain one or more phrases attached to the independent clause.

I / am / a writer. (subject / verb / subject complement)
I / write / books. (subject / verb / direct object)
I / write / books / for children. (subject / verb / direct object / prepositional phrase including an indirect object)
Without books, / weekends / would be / unbearable. (adverbial phrase / subject / verb / subject complement)

Learn more about types of sentences in the online Form and Composition Workshop.

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